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TV Review: Mr. Robot 2.7 “eps2.5h4ndshake.sme”
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Mr. Robot
Season 2 Episode 7 “eps2.5h4ndshake.sme”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Sam Esmail
Created by Sam Esmail
Starring Rami Malek, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Christian Slater, Michael Cristofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, Grace Gummer
USA Network
Air date: Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 10pm

Last week we watched as Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) toyed with Elliot’s mind, making him think his life was unraveling like a cheesy 80s sitcom. The real story was not as fun. Elliot (Rami Malek) was being held by Ray (Craig Robinson) and his goons. Ray created a secret website that offers guns, explosives, women, murder for hire, and basically any other twisted thing you can imagine, and Elliot saw it. Meanwhile Fsociety was trying to hack the FBI. Darlene (Carly Chaikin) enlisted Angela (Portia Doubleday) to put the hack in motion, but that brought Angela face to face with Agent DiPierro (Grace Gummer) who was fresh off her return from China, where The Dark Army (a group of cyber terrorists) murdered several FBI agents. In order for Elliot to get back in the game, it appears he will have to work with Mr. Robot.

Spoilers for this week’s Mr. Robot.

While Elliot pleads with Mr., Robot to unlock the mysteries in his head, Angela’s interrogated by DiPierro about why she was on a restricted floor. Darlene talks her through the stress and Angela completes the hack. Mr. Robot makes his confession to Elliot. The truth he’s been hiding all season… what happened to Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallstrom)… SPOILER ALERT…

Mr. Robot shot him. “No, I shot him,” whispers Elliot. That means this whole season it’s been him/them sending gifts and messages to Wellick’s wife and baby. Wellick was a total psychopath, murdering a co-worker’s wife during a rooftop rendezvous at a party. Killing him is probably the only way they could have handled it. Plus, as chief suspect in the 5/9 cyber attack, a dead man can never deny the claims that he’s guilty. I don’t know if it’s coming across, but this was a flooring revelation.

Ray forces Elliot to relaunch his deadly site. Elliot and Mr. Robot working together and acting cordial feels oddly comfortable. Craig Robinson is also fantastic. The man is incredibly likable and outright hilarious in 99% of the stuff he’s in, but here he is flexing that 1%. He’s at one moment ominous and scary as the villain. Then, without batting an eye, he’s calm and subdued talking about his wife, who apparently built the site and made so much money it affected her sense of right and wrong. “She was better at the denial than me,” he says of her. They play chess, and Ray knows that by launching the site, Elliot clued in the FBI. What an oddly emotional scene!

With Ray’s site down, a lot of crazy people are pissed at Elliot for costing them money. This leads to another scene where Elliot is gang beat in an alley before Leon (Joey Bada$$) shows up to even the score in ultra-violent fashion. Turns out the Seinfeld loving basketball watching friend to Elliot is much more than he seemed to be. Back at E-Corp, Angela plays the corporate toadie very well, helping smooth down the potential losses from the lawsuit she helped start. E-Corp CEO Phillip Price, (Michael Cristofer) comes across like a live action Mr. Burns in many scenes, oozing with evil corporate greed.

Elliot has a sort of epiphany after church group… but it’s not Jesus he’s reaching out for. He wants to finish the job against Evil Corp, and Mr. Robot tells him that people want to follow him, and thus he needs to lead them. In order to be free to continue his work with Fsociety, he destroys his notebooks, the systems he created to keep Mr. Robot at bay.

In an one more glorious HOLY CRAP reveal… we finally find out the truth… Elliot has been in jail the whole time. Leon, a fellow inmate. Ray, a figment of his imagination, his mother’s house, a cell. All a way for him to cope with being a paranoid schizophrenic. But now he’s come to terms with Mr. Robot, and he’s being released and the war on E-Corp will rage on.

Oh my god. This felt like the end of part 1 of the story. We got major reveals and my jaw is still on the floor. Wellick is dead. Elliot has been working through his issues in prison. The lines of reality are blurred on this show. It’s a testament to the quality of the characters and writing that the major surprises of season 2 are essentially the same as that in season 1, and I still didn’t see it coming. This is the best written show on TV, and I’m openly rooting for it to win the Emmy for Best Drama Series.

Mr. Robot continues next Wednesday night at 10:00pm ET only on USA.

Image Gallery

Video

Mr. Robot: Season 2, Episode 7 – (Spoiler) ‘Where Do You Think You Are Right Now’


Elliot (Rami Malek) confronts his surroundings in season 2, episode 7 of Mr. Robot, “eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme,” revealing a coping mechanism that hid the truth from the audience.

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